July 10, 2017

The Keir Foundation, Carriageworks and Dancehouse today opened the call out for entries and announced the high-profile international jury for the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award. The biennial competition, dedicated to the commission, presentation, promotion and dissemination of new Australian choreography, will accept entries until 11 August 2017 for the third edition of the Keir Choreographic Award, to be presented in March 2018.

Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and launched in 2014 as Australia’s first major choreographic award, the Keir Choreographic Award looks to identify and illuminate the most urgent and experimental choreographic practices occurring in the Australian context today. The 2018 jury that are tasked with the responsibility to decide which artists will be offered one of the eight new commissions are: Head of Dance, Performing Arts of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong, ANNA CY CHAN; local dance icon LUCY GUERIN; ISHMAEL HOUSTON-JONES, US choreographer, author, performer, and curator; Hungarian choreographer, dancer and performer ESZTER SALAMON; Artistic Director of international arts festival Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels, CHRISTOPHE SLAGMUYLDER;  and acclaimed Brussels-based American choreographer and dancer MEG STUART.

The KCA public program, with its array of panellists, guests and workshop leaders, runs concurrently with the performance season, providing a vital context for related and relevant discourse, reflection and debate.

For the third edition of the Award, eight finalists will once again be selected by the jury to present their work at Melbourne’s Dancehouse from 6 – 10 March 2018, with four chosen to go on to a season at Carriageworks in Sydney from 15 – 17 March 2018 to compete for the Award.  The chosen eight artists for 2018 will compete for the accolade of the $30,000 award and the $10,000 audience choice award. The Keir Choreographic Award was presented to Melbourne-based artist Atlanta Eke in 2014 and to Sydney-based Torres Strait Islander choreographer and performer, Ghenoa Gela, in 2016.

In making the announcement, Keir Choreographic Award Founder Phillip Keir said: “It has been really satisfying to see the impact that these award commissions have had on past participants. I’m especially delighted to see the development the eventual works that began as KCA commissions.”­­­

Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah, said: “Supporting artists to make new work is at the heart of the Carriageworks Artistic Program. Carriageworks is excited to again be partnering with Dancehouse, the Australia Council for the Arts and The Keir Foundation to support experimentation in Australian choreography.”

Dancehouse Artistic Director Angela Conquet, said: “Dancehouse is very proud to announce the third incarnation of the Keir Choreographic Award (KCA). KCA has assumed a significant and dynamic place in the Australian dance landscape. It offers eight artists the time and space to create and present a fully funded new work, a remarkable context in which to engage with international perspectives and an opportunity to connect with new and ever expanding audiences for dance in Australia. With the KCA Public Program, Dancehouse is extremely committed to introducing an array of outstanding thinkers and practitioners to both the dance field and the community at large and thus provides a context to consider the deep, subtle ways in which dance, with its multiplicity of choreographed and embodied practices, connects to the social, the ethical and the political. The KCA is today an unmissable national mini festival, assembling an inspiring and diverse community of artists, international guests, audiences, and local and national stakeholders.”

The entry requirements for the Award call for professional artists with an established practice to enter by submitting a five-minute video pitch for a choreographic idea of 20 minutes in duration. The Keir Choreographic Award jury will assess the initial video applications and the eight short-listed works will be provided with commissioning funds to realise their idea. Each of the eight new works will be presented at Dancehouse where the jury will then select four works to go on and be presented at Carriageworks. The jury will deliberate for a second time having viewed the final works in a new space. The recipient of the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award will be announced along with the Audience Award on the closing night of the Carriageworks season.




Participants can enter the competition by downloading and reading the full application, with regulations available at or

MEDIA CONTACTS: To request interviews and imagery contact:

FOR CARRIAGEWORKS: Rae Begley,, 0419 890 888 or Kym Elphinstone, 0421 106 139.

FOR DANCEHOUSE: Audrey Schmidt,, 03 9347 2860



Carriageworks presents a contemporary multi-arts program that engages artists and audiences with contemporary ideas and issues. The program is artist led and emerges from Carriageworks’ commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity. The Carriageworks artistic program is ambitious, risk taking and unrelenting in its support of artists. Carriageworks is a cultural facility of the NSW Government and is supported by Arts NSW. 


Dancehouse is the Centre for independent dance in Melbourne. Through its programs of residencies, performance, training and research, Dancehouse is a space for developing challenging, invigorating, and socially engaged moving art. Dancehouse is also a hub of knowledge and resources, a presenter of outstanding programs targeting multiple communities and a fierce advocate for the vibrancy and literacy of the Australian independent dance sector.


Established by Phillip Keir and Sarah Benjamin the Foundation’s purpose is to foster innovation and excellence in the arts, particularly among new and emerging practitioners. The Keir Foundation has previously worked in commissioning dance projects and this choreographic award emerged from an ongoing involvement with the dance community both nationally and internationally.


The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s principal arts funding and advisory body. The Australia Council invests in artistic excellence through support for all facets of the creative process, and is committed to the arts being more accessible to all Australians.



Anna CY Chan is the Head of Dance, Performing Arts of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority/Hong Kong. She is responsible for shaping the district’s artistic direction and strategies for dance. Under her leadership, a series of New Works Forum programmes have been launched and co- presented, including Dance Dialogue with Wayne McGregor, Screendance and Writing Choreographic Process. These programmes explore innovative forms of creating and performing, and new ways of discussing and thinking about topics related to contemporary performances. In 2007, Anna became the Vice-President (East Asia) of the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific. Prior to this, she was the Head of the Performing Arts Education Centre at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. During her tenure, the Centre created several successful community engagement projects, including smARTS Journey and Performing Arts Marathon. She was also the Chairperson of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance from 2006 to 2011.

Lucy Guerin was born in Adelaide Australia where she trained in ballet and contemporary dance. She moved to New York in 1989 for seven years and was involved in and influenced by the downtown dance scene. She returned to Australia and established Lucy Guerin Inc in 2002 in Melbourne as a way to support her creative process. The Company is also committed to offering development opportunities for local choreographers and dancers. Guerin has toured her work extensively in Europe, Asia and North America and has been invited to create works for Lyon Opera Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Rambert and Chunky Move among many others. Her awards include the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award, two New York Dance and Performance Awards (‘Bessies’) and the 2016 Australia Council Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance.

Eszter Salamon is a choreographer, dancer and performer. She is the author of solos “What A Body You Have, Honey” (2001) and “Giszelle” (2001) in collaboration with Xavier Le Roy, “Reproduction” (2004), a piece for eight dancers, “Magyar Tàncok” (2005) with Hungarian folk dancers and musicians, “Nvsbl” (2006), a film-choreography in collaboration with Bojana Cvejic “AND THEN” (2007) and together with Arantxa Martinez, the concert-performance “Without You I Am Nothing” (2007) starring Lukas Minkus and Ramon Pozo, “Dance#1/Driftworks” (2008), in collaboration with Christine De Smedt, “Voice Over” (2009), a piece commissioned and interpreted by Cristina Rizzo, “Dance for Nothing” (2010) and with Peter Böhm, Bojana Cvejic and Cédric Dambrain “TALES OF THE BODILESS” (2011). Her work has been widely presented in Europe and Asia. As a dancer, she collaborated with Sidonie Rochon, Mathilde Monnier and François Verret.

Christophe Slagmuylder was born in Brussels. He studied history of art (contemporary art) at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), and has taught at the École nationale supérieure d’audiovisuel (ENSAV) in La Cambre, Brussels, among other positions. Since 1994, he has been involved in producing and prmoting various dance companies, including P.A.R.T.S. He was also artistic direction assistant at Théâtre Les Tanneurs in Brussels. In 2002, he joined the programming team at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts. Christophe Slagmuylder has been artistic director of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts since 2007.

Meg Stuart is an American choreographer and dancer, working and living in Berlin and Brussels. She founded her own company, Damaged Goods, in Brussels through which she has realized over 30 productions, ranging from solos to large-scale choreographies, site-specific creations and improvisation projects. Stuart strives to develop a new language for every piece in collaboration with artists from different creative disciplines and navigates the tension between dance and theatre. Her work revolves around the idea of an uncertain body, one that is vulnerable and self-reflexive. It is analogous to a constantly shifting identity and constantly redefines itself while searching for new presentation contexts and territories for dance. Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods has an on-going collaboration with Kaaitheater (Brussels) and HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin).

Ishmael Houston-Jones is a choreographer, author, performer, teacher, and curator. His improvised dance and text work has been performed in New York City, across the US, and in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Latin America. Houston-Jones and Fred Holland shared a Bessie Award for their piece Cowboys, Dreams and Ladders. He also revived THEM, his 1985 collaboration with writer Dennis Cooper and composer Chris Cochrane for which he was awarded his second Bessie Award. He has curated Platform 2012: Parallels and Platform 2016: Lost and Found, both at Danspace Project. He is a recipient of the 2016 Herb Alpert, a 2015 Doris Duke Impact and a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Artists Awards.

KCA 2018 logos

IMAGE CREDIT: Alice Heyward, Before the Fact – commissioned for the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award. Image: Gregory Lorenzutti for Dancehouse